On the Dirty Road

by Alor Sahoo

by Irma Pineda, co-translated by Alor Sahoo and Wendy Call

The windows of the village houses
scour the beach for sand grains.
They reflect on the distant sun
that leaves them in the dark.
Their head of roof shingles hidden,
dyed a soft black and red.
Who’s inside that pink and yellow hair?
Who’s inside that dark brick skin?

Trekking to the mountain,
your last dirt road fades out.
Maybe this path would have
drowned you in a flood,
destroying your foundation.
Your declining village has only
one entrance: a set of doors,
dry, cracked ruby lips.

When did you bleed out?
Did your silence drive the dogs away
to another village?
No running children receive your
cul-de-sac hugs, no robbers
jump between your heads.
The birds have also emigrated…